Make beautiful

Career Monsieur Abel

Mikhail KOLODOCHKIN Careers can be done in different ways. The rather wealthy French artisan Abel, who at the beginning of the 19th century was engaged in carriage polish and cart grease, chose a proven method - to offer services to someone who successfully goes upstairs. And he ventured to turn … to the first consul of France! The impossible happened - the crew, sparkling after being treated with Abelian preparations, made a proper impression on both the future emperor and Madame Josephine. And when the clever Monsieur showed concern for the cavalry, showing lubricant for the harness, and in addition, as if by chance, offered to clean the gun barrels, then Napoleon, who had once started serving as a junior artillery lieutenant, finally melted and officially appointed Abel as the supplier of his army.

Over the course of two centuries, many politicians changed and a huge number of companies broke up, but Abel’s company changed only addresses and “signs”, and at the end of the 60s it was closely engaged in automotive cosmetics. Bonnex cleaners were added to the polishes and varnishes from Abel - this is how the modern name “Abel Bonnex” came to be. In the future, large American “sharks” - first “Kiwi”, then “Sara Lee” and, finally, in 1998 - Turtle Wax “laid eyes on the company”.

The actual change of ownership did not affect the independence of the company - its products still bear the Abel Auto brand. It is understandable - they are not looking for good from good. In France, almost all cars are cleaned by Abel, from Peugeot to Volkswagen, Portuguese dealers got to Mercedes, and there are also Spain, Greece, Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Belgium. And, of course, Russia.

The fact that Russia has a "special become", the Americans are well aware. They decided to place a stake here not on a single motorist, but on a reviving class of professionals - from car service workers to car dealership employees. Drugs for amateur consumption do not belong here - this is where Abel Bonnex was needed.

There are more than two hundred different names of “abel”. If you believe the advertising, they can do absolutely everything - they will remove fingerprints from the new car before selling them, help the used person to regain their former charm, make a light cosmetic operation on the scratched one, and paint smudges will be removed. And all this is done very quickly: time is money.

I wanted to believe in the wonderful properties of Abel Auto preparations as soon as our car drove into the paving stones of Rouen, the former capital of the Duchy of Normandy. Tiny cozy streets strewn with flowers, and formidable majestic cathedrals, bringing cold and tranquility, quickly remove from memory what seemed to be something unrealistic - from this castle they led to the bonfire of Jeanne d'Arc, and here, perhaps, the Maupassant's Pyshka was walking. .. And here is the “brain center” of the company - here the chemical formulas of new drugs appear, dealers are trained and marketing is thought out.

“Individual products really have no analogues - however, see for yourself, ” smiles Jean-Noel Pellerin, export company manager.

In the laboratory, we are waiting for the “Renault Lagoon” with a mileage far beyond a hundred thousand. Many small scratches on the hood, like wrinkles on the neck, give out age. Jean-Noel puts on overalls and begins to priestly - distribute the applied composition with a polishing machine. Five minutes later, in the processed half of the hood, you can already look like in a mirror.

However, no - in the very center there was a strange spot, as if someone had specially walked on the hood with a rough emery cloth. No polishing will help here - this is clear. However, Jean-Noel does not give up - small abrasive whetstones extracted … from a container of water are used! Water saves from premature drying out and is needed to maintain granulation of cubes at the proper level. It should be another five minutes of alternating processing with various bars, then the polishing machine switches on again. After 10 minutes, a satisfied manager admires his own reflection on the site of the former spot - a clear victory.

“This is how our universal P5 paste works, ” explains Jean-Paul, one of the creators of the composition, who observed the work of his colleague. - The uniqueness of the drug is that it actually uses several types of abrasive with different characteristics. The first layer of paste removes coarse irregularities, but at the same time it collapses itself - smaller particles of abrasive are formed, which mix with coarser ones, as a result, a new abrasive is obtained, and so on. The remaining nuances are already know-how.

Everything is clear except for a trifle - so where do the scratches disappear? Jean-Paul explains again - their removal takes place in several stages. First, the abrasive evens out the damaged surface - naturally, at the same time, it “loses weight”, as the varnish becomes thinner. Then apply a polish that improves the microstructure of the matte surface and restores its reflectivity. Finally, a protective layer is applied on top to avoid the appearance of new cracks. That's all.

Well, pasta is really unusual. But what about a polishing machine - is it possible to use a similar one or do without it at all? We are politely reminded that we are talking about the professional use of drugs, and therefore we must strictly adhere to company recommendations. The meaning is very simple - the German Flex machine, made specifically for the Abel Bonnex, has electronic control that allows you to work in the desired speed range (from 500 to 2900 rpm), while creating the necessary torque. Therefore, the product used does not scatter when working around, and the surface being treated does not overheat. As for the necessary pressure on the surface, it is determined by the qualification of the master, who was trained on this particular machine and can be guided even by its sound. So it’s better not to experiment.

We do not give up trying to save money on a typewriter - after all, more than five hundred odd dollars … Everything is clear with the processing speed, but if we are talking about our own car, is it possible to dress it up manually over the weekend? Jean-Paul patiently explains that if the old monocomponent paints were more elastic, then modern hardness is more like glass. Therefore, the Volga, in principle, can be processed without a machine - as they say, the flag is in your hands! But if you have, say, a fresh Volkswagen, then forget about such physical exercises right away - leveling the surface layer will require a lot of effort. In addition, for modern coatings, a small warm-up during operation is even useful, and therefore you can not do without technology.

Jean-Noel, meanwhile, got a taste of it - having fastened a white disk-nozzle to the typewriter (by the way, there are only four of them - three foam rubber ones and one fur one), he began to apply a teflon polish to the shining hood. The drug is made on the basis of natural products - as in Napoleonic times … After finishing work, a lighter is placed on the hood carelessly, which immediately slides off - friction is minimized. Such a preparation retains the luster of the coating for longer, but is intended mainly for middle and high class cars: it is one third more expensive than usual.

It's time to clean the interior. The corresponding branded “dish” is called DG-12 - it is a multifunctional concentrated cleaner that can clean cloth, leather, vinyl coatings, rugs, etc. Each type of coating, as well as each degree of pollution, has its own concentration. We open the right door and spray the drug on its upholstery, then turn on the machine. Abundant foam is formed - the French consumer does not recognize other shampoos, because he rarely washes a car, but "thoroughly". After a while, we wipe the upholstery with a clean cloth and look with horror at the opposite door - which one now seems dirty … An important feature: the surface cleaned with “Abelian” preparations will never stain your clothes - you can’t tell about the majority of products sold here .

“The competition doesn't have that, ” explains Jean-Paul. “We were able to understand two simple truths - there is no moisture circulation in a limited volume of the passenger compartment, while the car moves all the time … It is not clear? Sorry, further - know-how.

We roll out the "Lagoon" onto the street, under the warm Rouen sun. It remains the most uninteresting - to wash the body. Jean-Paul sends a powerful stream of water into the side of the car, and I am skeptical about his efforts, because I know very well that without mechanical processing (read - without a rag) the dirt will not go anywhere. However, this was part of the play - Jean-Noel walks up to the left back door and sprays car shampoo from a hand sprayer on it. Again, a stream of water is supplied - and after a moment the back door sparkles with whiteness, and the front door remains just as dirty. If I hadn’t seen it myself, I would not have believed it.

Most “abels” do not contain silicone - there are reasons for this. Silicone is a good thing, but when working in a car repair shop its pairs interfere with painting. When spraying such a preparation on the surface of a neighboring machine, defects can form - microcraters, etc. "Abel Bonnex" understood this earlier than others and made the right conclusions.